Sounproofing a Room - 2

 Topics Covered in this Article:

Soundproofing a Room is one of the most searched for topics and the subject of many frequent phone calls and emails that we receive at Trademark Soundproofing.

Whether it is a ceiling in a condo, a master bedroom or a home office, people want their privacy and a noise free environment. If you want to reclaim your peace and quiet without having to move to the middle of an isolated field, then invest in soundproofing your room properly. 

This article includes a step by step application guide, with links to more detailed articles for each specific step.

There are 4 basic sound control methods used on the ceiling, walls and floor; utilizing as many as possible will ensure superior results. 

Additionally, good sealing at the perimeters, outlets, doors and windows will prevent sound leakage from these vulnerable gaps.

To achieve all four components you would need to have your room stripped down to the studs. On an existing room you would be able to achieve three of the components as outlined below.

 Component 1 - Walls & Ceilings:

Insulation / Absorption: Your walls / ceiling need insulation in them to absorb some sound.

Apply fiberglass into studs for soundproofing wallsIf your studs are exposed wrap, your electrical outlets with Acoustical Putty Pads.

 Then insulate using Fiberglass Batt Insulation or Mineral Wool in between the studs. Wrap your HVAC with Duct Wrap.

If your drywall is in place and you do not want to remove it, you can insulate by pumping Cellulose into the walls.

Your HVAC vents should be lined with duct liner.

Decoupling: Your walls / ceilings need to be decoupled to prevent soundwaves from passing through the structure.

Apply Resilient Sound Isolation Clips to Walls to Decouple to Aid in Soundproofing a RoomIf your studs are exposed, you would want to decouple your drywall from the studs by using Resilient Sound Isolation Clips on the face of the studs.

If your drywall is already in place and you do not want to remove it we recommend not to decouple the wall. See our article regarding the Triple Leaf Effect.

If you are trying to control footsteps or impact sounds coming from above then decoupling the ceiling is a must. 

Damping and Mass: You want to add weight to your walls / ceilings / floors  and you want to damp them. Damping dissipates any soundwaves hitting the structure and stops it from traveling through and down it.

Apply Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound to Walls to provide damping for soundproofing roomsThe most effective way to accomplish this is by applying a second layer of drywall with a damping compound like Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound in between 2 layers of drywall or 2 layers of subfloors.

If your sound issues are coming through the walls and you are damping the walls, we strongly recommend adding a 2nd layer of drywall and Green Glue to your ceiling as well, since sound can flank over your walls and come through your ceilings.

This is a must in situations where there is an open air space above both rooms e.g. an attic or crawl space.

Finishing / Sealing:

Apply Acoustical Caulk to perimeter of walls and ceilings to sealFinally, be sure to seal the perimeters of your walls and ceiling with a proper Acoustical Caulk.

In addition, seal around all electrical outlets by adding our Acoustic Electric Box Seal.

Utilizing insulation, decoupling, mass and damping all together gives you the highest soundproofing performance, usually 30+ STC points over a standard wall/ceiling.

Utilizing insulation, mass and damping will give you solid sound control usually about 80% noise reduction if done correctly.

For more detailed information on the steps listed above:

  • If you prefer to work with your existing walls then we suggest reading our Soundproofing Existing Walls and Ceiling article.

  • If you want even better soundproofing and are ready to remove the existing walls/ceilings or are doing new construction then read our How to Soundproof article.

 Component 2 – Floors:

How to Soundproof a Floor with New FlooringNew Flooring: For new construction, use insulation in floor joists, Joist Gasket Tape on the top of the joists, and 2 layers of 1/2” subflooring with Green Glue Damping Compound in between.

You can cover with a Rubber Underlayment before installing your final floor.

For more details see our How To Soundproof Article.

 

Apply premium carpet underlayment to soundproof under carpetsCarpeting: If you have existing carpets or you are putting down carpet our Premium Carpet Underlayment is an excellent noise blocker and can be installed in place of a carpet pad. If possible try to add a 2nd subfloor with Green Glue first

Hardwood Flooring: You can install Rubber Underlayment under your hardwood floor.

If you have a finished hardwood floor and would like to stay with that, then there is not much you can do other than working on the ceiling below.

 Component 3 – Doors:

Doors are thin / hollow and have gaps around the perimeter, allowing for lots of noise penetration. Ideally swapping to a solid wood door will give you a good start. You can use a custom cut heavy duty soundproof door panel.

Or you can work with your door as follows:

 

Apply Soundproofing Rubber below the molding surrounding the door frame to soundproofMoulding: Stuff Soundproofing Rubber and Acoustical Caulk between the frame and wall.

Door Panel: Then install a Soundproof Door Panel which will beef up your door and seal the gaps at the edges.

Alternatively, you can use a 1/2” thick MDF board over the door, applied with Green Glue Compound sandwiched in between.

Perimeter Gasketing: The jambs and headers should be sealed with a Soundproofing Door Gasket or Soundproofing Weatherstrip.

Door Bottom: Most importantly, the large gap at the bottom of the door needs to be sealed with a Sound Rated Automatic Door Bottom.

 Component 4 – Windows:

Windows are another weak link in the room envelope in regards to sound control.

Various soundproofing options include:

Secondary Window: One option would be to install a second window behind / in front of your existing window. 

Vision Lite Kit: If you will not need to open or close the window you have the option of installing our Acoustic Vision Lite which is an excellent kit, providing a strong seal around the perimeter. It is easily installed and allows for you to add your own thick pane of glass.

Apply Sound Barrier Window Curtain for Sealing Windows and Soundproofing RoomsSoundproofing Curtain: Another practical, very effective solution for windows is to use a Sound (and Light) Window Barrier Curtain. We custom size your curtain and it is available in a variety of colors. Installation can be done with velcro or grommets and pegs.

 Soundproofing Solutions for Today's Designs:

A final issue that often arises is the sound traveling in a home itself e.g. talking on the first floor can sometimes be heard in a bedroom on the 2nd floor.

This is usually a problem in newer homes where the style is to use hardwood and tile throughout the home with wide open foyers and a modern sleek look that minimizes curtains and oversized furniture. This type of design will cause sound to reflect off the hard surfaces thus easily and loudly traveling throughout the home.

Our suggestion is to soundproof your doors paying close attention to the gaps at below or above.

Apply Acoustical Fabrics in your home to soundproof roomsThen install Acoustical Panels. You can order panels in virtually any color / design fabric to match your decor (you can even have panels customized with your own photos, paintings etc). These panels are hung in your hallways, on stairway walls and other strategic locations to absorb sound waves and stop them from echoing off your walls.

As you can see, sound control doesn't have to be complicated if you have the right Soundproofing Products and guidance! At Trademark Soundproofing, we pride ourselves in offering our valued clients a wide array of top-quality products for every type of application along with our Trademark Customer Service.


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